Looking for a gift for a child with Down syndrome?

Searching for gift ideas for those with Down syndrome? It can be tricky knowing what will be fun while still providing an element of learning. We’ve curated a list of items that help improve various skills while keeping children engaged. Please look at our recommendations and how they benefit individuals with disabilities.

 

1) Beehive Matching Game

This interactive game promotes the use of fine motor skills. Using Strengthening hand muscles and coordination is particularly important since this will help with independence in writing, eating, cooking, and opening lids. Low muscle tone affects ALL muscles of the body… including fingers. The earlier we teach motor skills to our children, the better! This game gives them time to practice and hone motor skills as they get older…  to ensure they will be well-prepared as adults.

2) Nugget Blocks

Whether you’re looking to add a little color or a touch of personality to your child’s life, Nugget has you covered. These soft building blocks, which we use at Playhouses across the country, help define motor skills. Plus, Nugget products serve as an occupational therapy tool! If that weren’t enough, they can even be used as a sensory item since some of the blocks are scented…bubble gum, anyone? This is the perfect multi-sensory experience for any kiddo’s imagination. So let them stack, create and build to their heart’s desire. Their creations may even inspire you!

 

3) Agility Markers

We know those with Down syndrome learn best when given clear, visual instructions. These flexible colored dots can be used in multiple settings. At our Hoffman Estates Playhouse, we like to use them when working on motor skills in our GiGiFIT classes. Agility markers allow our volunteers to give instructions and provide movement demonstrations. Asking an individual to place a hand or foot on a colored dot is often easier than asking them to take a step or reach toward a particular direction. Clear, concrete examples mean we are setting them up for success!

 

4) Veggie Sorting Set

Sorting objects by type, color, and shape help a child’s overall cognitive development. When we refer to cognitive development, we are talking about thinking, exploring, discovering, and problem-solving. This puzzle-sorting game does just that!

In addition to categorizing objects, children are also learning different colors and how to count. The board fits into the box it comes in, which means you can take it with you on-the-go.

Puzzles and other sorting games offer similar benefits as this type of game. Individuals with Down syndrome are great visual learners, so if they can see what they are supposed to do, they are more likely to succeed!

 

5) Stepping Stones

Step to it! Did you know teaching kiddos how to walk is not just a development milestone? It teaches gross motor skills, meaning they use their entire body: core, arms, and legs! These movements translate to balancing, jumping, and kicking.

Strengthening gross motor skills goes together with hand-eye coordination, and supporting neural pathways in the brain.

Stepping stones such as these can help get kids up and moving. The squishy texture helps with sensory exploration and provides a soft landing for jumpers. The colors add another element when it comes to playing and teaching, making it easier to incorporate into lessons and instructions.

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